My Journey With Books

Cynthia Price is Director of Communications for the nonprofit organization

ChildFund International.She is past President of the National Federation of Press Women

and of Virginia Press Women. Cynthia is an avid reader, who also occasionally

blogs about authors at


The Book Thief is a big book. Big in size, big in subject matter.

Its 500+ pages transported me to Germany during World War II where I met Death, who narrated the story. It’s a lot to take in. But the story line is so riveting that all I did for a few days was read. It was a short, but intense visit.  And then the terrible happened: I came to the final pages, and the end of the story and my journey.

Already, I’m in search of other books by the author, Markus Zusak.

In the meantime, I’m now lost in a world of murder and deception as I read James Patterson’s Private Suspect #1. It’s a completely different genre. It’s not weighty, and it will take me less than eight hours to read. But for those few shorts hours I will be lost in a world that has nothing to do with my life.

A year ago I was in Chicago and learned of a book called The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. It tells the story of the Chicago World’s Fair intertwined with that of a serial killer who uses the fair to lure his victims to their death. Reading the book enabled me to learn more about a city I had come to love, particularly its architecture. I also learned about its dark side.

Interestingly, some of the good characters in that book also appeared in another book that I was lost in only weeks earlier. In David McCullough’s The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, he tells the story of American artists and scientists in Paris, who changed America through what they learned. Several of the architects in this book were present in Larson’s book.

And for me that’s what reading is all about. It’s both an escape and an intellectual journey into worlds I wish to learn more about.

It’s time to book another journey, which means a trip to my library or my bookstore. I’m not sure where I’ll travel to this time. It might be to The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern or into the world of introverts in Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

It won’t matter. As with all travel, often it’s simply nice to get away.